"Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D" star Chloe Bennet speaks out about discrimination in Hollywood
ABC/Jennifer Clasen(LOS ANGELES) — Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. star Chloe Bennet discussed changing her last name from Wang in order to get cast for more roles after an Internet troll drew attention to it.
The 25-year-old actress, who is half-Chinese, brought up the issue of discrimination in Hollywood as part of a debate over so-called white-washing of TV and film roles, saying “Hollywood is racist.”
Earlier this week she spoke out in support of actor Ed Skrein for stepping down from the role of Major Ben Daimio in the Hellboy reboot. In the comic series, Daimio is of Asian descent. Skrein is not.
“Thank you @edskrein for standing up against hollywoods continuous insensitivity and flippant behavior towards the Asian American community,” Bennet wrote on Instagram.
When one commenter pointed out that Bennet changed her name from Wang to Bennet, the actress lashed out.
“Changing my last name doesn’t change the fact that my BLOOD is half Chinese, that I lived in China, speak Mandarin or that I was culturally raised both American and Chinese,” Bennet replied, according to People magazine. “It means I had to pay my rent, and Hollywood is racist and wouldn’t cast me with a last name that made them uncomfortable. I’m doing everything I can, with the platform I have, to make sure no one has to change their name again, just so they can get work. So kindly love, f*** off.”
The commenter’s Instagram account was later deleted.
Skrein said in a statement Monday that when he accepted the part of Daimio, he was unaware of the character’s Asian heritage. After bearing witness to “intense conversation and understandable upset,” he said in a statement, he decided “to step down so the role can be cast appropriately.”
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